N 492 Aspen University Mental Health and Temperature Extremes Discussion

I don’t know how to handle this Nursing question and need guidance.

Part#one: Pick TWO of these topics from National Health Topics section and  briefly discuss what stood out most to you from the information (2+ items per topic)

Mental Health and Stress-Related Disorders

Mental illness is one of the major causes of suffering in the United States, and extreme weather events can affect mental health in several ways. Following disasters, mental health problems increase, both among people with no history of mental illness, and those at risk – a phenomenon known as “common reactions to abnormal events.” These reactions may be short-lived or, in some cases, long-lasting. For example, research demonstrated high levels of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder among people affected by Hurricane Katrina, and similar observations have followed floods and heat waves. Some evidence suggests wildfires have similar effects. All of these events are increasingly fueled by climate change. Other health consequences of intensely stressful exposures are also a concern, including pre-term birth, low birth weight, and maternal complications.

In addition, some patients with mental illness are especially susceptible to heat. Suicide rates vary with weather, rising with high temperatures, suggesting potential impacts from climate change on depression and other mental illnesses. Dementia is a risk factor for hospitalization and death during heat waves. Patients with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are at risk during hot weather because their medications may interfere with temperature regulation or even directly cause hyperthermia. Additional potential mental health impacts, less well understood, include the possible distress associated with environmental degradation and displacement and the anxiety and despair that knowledge of climate change might elicit in some people.

Precipitation Extremes: Heavy Rainfall, Flooding, and Droughts

The frequency of heavy precipitation events has already increased for the nation as a whole, and is projected to increase in all U.S. regions. Increases in both extreme precipitation and total precipitation have contributed to increases in severe flooding events in certain regions. Floods are the second deadliest of all weather-related hazards in the United States, accounting for approximately 98 deaths per year, most due to drowning. Flash floods and flooding associated with tropical storms result in the highest number of deaths.

In addition to the immediate health hazards associated with extreme precipitation events when flooding occurs, other hazards can often appear once a storm has passed. Elevated waterborne disease outbreaks have been reported in the weeks following heavy rainfall, although other variables may affect these associations. Water intrusion into buildings can result in mold contamination that manifests later, leading to indoor air quality problems. Buildings damaged during hurricanes are especially susceptible to water intrusion. Populations living in damp indoor environments experience increased prevalence of asthma and other upper respiratory tract symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, as well as lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and RSV pneumonia.

At the opposite end of precipitation extremes, drought also poses risks to public health and safety. Drought conditions may increase the environmental exposure to a broad set of health hazards including wildfires, dust storms, extreme heat events, flash flooding, degraded water quality, and reduced water quantity. Dust storms associated with drought conditions contribute to degraded air quality due to particulates and have been associated with increased incidence of coccidioidomycosis (valley fever), a fungal pathogen, in Arizona and California.

Watch a short video about how climate change can increase storms and flooding, and what communities can do to prepare.

Read more about drought.

Temperature Extremes

Extreme heat events have long threatened public health in the United States. Many cities, including St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cincinnati, have suffered dramatic increases in death rates during heat waves. Deaths result from heat stroke and related conditions, but also from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Heat waves are also associated with increased hospital admissions for cardiovascular, kidney, and respiratory disorders. Extreme summer heat is increasing in the United States, and climate projections indicate that extreme heat events will be more frequent and intense in coming decades.

Some heat-related illness and death risks have diminished in recent decades, possibly due to better forecasting, heat-health early warning systems, and/or increased access to air conditioning for the U.S. population. However, extreme heat events remain a cause of preventable death nationwide. Urban heat islands, combined with an aging population and increased urbanization, are projected to increase the vulnerability of urban populations to heat-related health impacts in the future.

Milder winters resulting from a warming climate can reduce illness, injuries, and deaths associated with cold and snow. Vulnerability to winter weather depends on many non-climate factors, including housing, age, and baseline health. While deaths and injuries related to extreme cold events are projected to decline due to climate change, these reductions are not expected to compensate for the increase in heat-related deaths.

Part#2: THEN see how YOUR REGION  (or a region of interest) of the country is being impacted by climate change by looking at the this section labeled Regional Health Impacts Identify at least one impact that you can personally attest to that is occurring.

Extreme Events

Extreme weather events with resultant physical injury and population displacement are a threat to this region. These threats are likely to increase in frequency and distribution and are likely to create significant economic burdens. For example, widespread flooding during Hurricane Harvey affected dozens of communities, including those in the Houston and Beaumont metropolitan areas. Immediate effects included deaths from drowning and trauma that claimed the lives of at least 63 individuals. Additionally, more than 30,000 people were evacuated. Displacement of patients from their communities and healthcare providers led to interruptions in medical treatment.

Temperature-Related Death and Illness

Warmer temperatures will likely lead to an increase in heat stress, especially during the summertime. Notably, heat stress is strongly correlated with complications of lung disease, such as asthma and emphysema, as well as dehydration and injurious electrolyte abnormalities).


Harris County Took Brunt of February Freeze – Houston, Texas

UH Hobby School Study Reveals Local Support for Improved Energy Infrastructure and New Energy Sources

By Chris Stipes 713-743-8186

April 8, 2021


The February 2021 freeze – the infamous Winter Storm Uri – wreaked havoc across Texas, but the impacts of the storm were more severe in Harris County, according to a report by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

More than nine out of every 10 (91%) Harris County residents lost electrical power at some point as the winter storm rolled through on Feb. 14-20, significantly higher than residents in the other 212 counties within the Texas electrical grid that lost electricity (64%). The average outage for Harris County residents was reported to be 49 hours, a time span that suggests plans for rotating power outages did not work.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of Harris County residents lost running water (for 56 hours, on average), 21 percentage points higher than that experienced by Texans outside of Harris County. But water problems went even further: When and where running water was available, household taps for significant periods of time might produce water that was unsafe to drink.

“These survey results point to significant ways we can respond more effectively, should a similar disaster threaten in the future. Local authorities can make use of this information to help maximize investments in weatherizing utility infrastructure that can protect Harris County residents,” said Kirk P. Watson, founding dean of the Hobby School.

The insights are among results of an online survey of adults in the 213 Texas counties (out of Texas’ total of 254 counties), including an oversample of Harris County residents (513 total), that are served by the Texas Electrical Grid, which is managed by the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The survey asked about personal experiences during the storm and opinions on future policy and preparedness.

“When it comes to supporting proposed policy changes aimed at protecting people and infrastructure from severe weather, an overwhelming majority of Harris County residents think it’s a good idea, but the challenge comes with how to fund those improvements,” said Renée Cross, senior director of the Hobby School. “Less than one-third were in favor of passing costs on to consumers.”

The entire report, “The Effects of the Winter Storm of 2021 in Harris County,” is available here. Comparisons of storm experiences in Harris County and the rest of Texas can be found here.

Other notable findings:

  • Harris County residents were significantly more likely      than other Texans to lose cell phone service, suffer food spoilage and      have difficulty finding a plumber. Financial loss, too, was more common      than elsewhere in Texas.
  • Two of every five Harris County respondents suffered      water damage from pipes that burst because of the freeze.
  • About three-quarters of Harris County respondents      believe developing alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, is      the biggest priority in protecting the country’s energy supply. By      contrast, just 27% of participants believe the current main priority      should be oil and natural gas exploration and production.

Mark P. Jones, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute and a Hobby School senior research associate, notes Harris County residents were also significantly more likely than other Texans to rely, at least a little, on text alerts from local and county government during the storm.

“This suggests the text-alert systems of Harris County, the city of Houston and other area municipalities might serve as an example for other governments,” said Jones.

The survey was fielded by YouGov between March 9-19, 2021, with 1,500 YouGov respondents, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.5. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, ethnicity/race, and education and are representative of the adult population in these 213 Texas counties. 

Part#3: Read the following post and write a response for 200 words

Red cross association takes emergency preparation very seriously, and they are quick to respond to emergencies during the disaster. The red cross website has the outline of the preparation and survival kits. If a disaster happens in my area right now, I am not sure I am ready for disaster.  I have encountered a flood in 2001 June called Tropical Storm Allison, our house was full of flooded water, and that was a bad experience for me because I was pregnant. The storm dropped heavy rainfall along its path, peaking at over 40 inches (1,000 mm) in Texas. The worst flooding occurred in Houston, where most of Allison’s damage occurred: 30,000 became homeless after the storm flooded over 70,000 houses and destroyed 2,744 homes. Downtown Houston was inundated with flooding, causing severe damage to hospitals and businesses. I don’t have any preparation during the Allison flood. The flood damaged all our properties, and we had to replace all our properties. The second experience is February 13-17, 2021; the ICE Storm left us with no electricity for five days, resulting in our stove for the heater. The Red Cross preparation package sound reasonable and

The February 13–17, 2021 North American winter storm, unofficially referred to as Winter Storm, was a significant winter and ice storm that had widespread impacts across the United States, Northern Mexico, and parts of Canada from February 13 to 17. The storm started in the Pacific Northwest and quickly moved into the Southern United States before moving on to the Midwestern and Northeastern United States a couple of days later. The preparation of a disaster package is the best. It is beneficial for families to tell each other where they are for safety purposes so that everyone will know where each is.  I can remember what was of help to us during the ice storm in February, before the power outage; we started changing our power bank that we have that was about five altogether. The power banks helped us in the changing of our cell phones. We also have about 8 of 5 gallons of water in our garages with enough bottled water that is what helped us use during the ice storm to flush the commode and cook. I must start parking the preparation package for the disaster and ensure we have enough water and a paper towels



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